Manufacturing Engineering Apprenticeship

Manufacturing Apprentice – You’re Hired!

Monday, 25 November 2019

Manufacturing Apprentice – You’re Hired!

Graduation of Level 6 Manufacturing Technician Apprentices

It’s always good to celebrate milestones and the graduation ceremony hosted by the Irish Medtech Association for our manufacturing apprentices was a major milestone. These graduates successfully completed the new, modern 2-year Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship programme.

Their success is testimony to both their own hard work and the commitment of the employers involved. We’re proud to add that all the graduates have been offered jobs with the participating companies or found other exciting roles. But most apprentices are staying with the same manufacturer, which is a testament to the relationships the manufacturing apprenticeships foster and the essential skills which participants gain.

The apprenticeship celebration event was hosted in Galway and it was a busy day with the 29 apprentices were joined by the 15 employers involved and by representatives from SOLAS, HEA and the academic providers including lead provider GMIT, CIT and LIT.

Mary-Liz Trant from SOLAS said: “I’d like to congratulate the first apprentice cohort completing this exciting new apprenticeship for the manufacturing and engineering industries, nationally we have 16,500 apprentices completing training and almost 6000 companies engaged in apprenticeship programmes”.

These three sets of successful apprentices represent the first-ever graduates of this dynamic, industry-led programme. Ibec Medtech and Engineering Director, Sinead Keogh said: “The Manufacturing Engineering Apprenticeship is a radical modernisation from the traditional apprenticeships which offers new routes to high-tech manufacturing industries…..this unique programme is essential to future proof Ireland’s worldclass manufacturing.”

To find out more about manufacturing the future and the global medtech trends we encourage you to join us at Medtech Rising Conference 4-5 December in Galway, which will bring together more than 35 speakers over 15 sessions and two days.

The Ibec Manufacturing Apprenticeship Team were proud to mark the achievements of the first graduating class with the apprentices, member companies and academic partners. Last year Trish Breen joined Shane Beirne to co-ordinate the programme, securing employers and liaising with apprentices. They were delighted to see the graduates coming through the two years and going on to work in the manufacturing sector.

Speaking at the event Trish Breen said: “It’s great to see the high calibre of the apprentices; they’ve finished their two years as really well-rounded, work-ready manufacturing technicians. Because they’ve been working in teams on practical projects, related to their own employers needs, they’ve developed soft skills as well as insights into the problems the business needs to solve. And you can see how much they enjoy their work – that’s a win for the employer and a win for the apprentice”.

Not only has the standard of apprentices been extremely high, the same can be said of the businesses involved which include companies such as Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Teleflex, Molex, Zimmer Biomet, Bay Enterprises, Takumi Precision, Munster Packaging Ltd, Abbott Diagnostics, Boston Scientific, Multi Packaging Solutions, Siemens Healthineers, Fort Wayne Metals, Alps Electric (Irl) Ltd, and Sanmina. There’s now a great opportunity for more companies to get involved and we’d like you to contact either Trish Breen by emailing, or Shane Beirne by emailing

Different Perspectives, Good Experiences

It’s been a pleasure to witness how much both the graduates and the employers benefited from the programme and a good example of this has been the experience at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. Recently we spoke about the manufacturing apprenticeships with Greg Reddin, Business Unit Manager 2GT Ops at the company who said “We’ve noticed…… because the apprentices are straight into a practical working environment, they can add value really quickly and we see this as a great way to future-proof our business - by addressing this technical skills gap with loyal, capable workers who have great problem solving abilities – that’s what you need in a manufacturing facility”.

Aislinn Smith was one of our graduates, she did her apprenticeship with Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, speaking about her experience she said “The apprenticeship has been a great experience for me. It’s a perfect way of learning new skills suited to a wide range of roles within such a strong industry. We also have the added bonus of earning while we learn. The practical experience of on the job learning means we can see different sides of the business and it gives us a chance to see where our strengths lie”.